Quick Weeknight Meal: Easy, Cheesy Perogies

A Recipe That's Ch-Easy Enough For Any Busy Weeknight

Quick Weeknight Meal: Easy, Cheesy Perogies

Cheesy Perogies Recipe

Like so many moms, I am always trying to find new dinner options that are fast, easy, and worth the effort. 

When I found myself staring at a bag of frozen perogies in my freezer and a bunch of our favourite cheese in the fridge, I knew I would hit the jackpot if I could make cheese perogies even cheesier! And boy was I right!

As an added bonus, this recipe involves mostly simmering—not a lot of effort on your part. This means that as long as you're supervising and stirring occasionally, you can empty lunchboxes, clean up the breakfast dishes (don't pretend you never leave them in the sink before you go to work!) or read out the spelling words for your kids' dictée the next day at school. 
Yes, these Cheesy Perogies are really THAT EASY!
Simply saute your onions and garlic.
Add your perogies (yup — frozen right from the bag!) and saute some more.
Add the cream cheese and tomatoes.
Add your spinach and shredded cheese.
... and enjoy the compliments you'll get on this.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion sliced or chopped (I slice into large-ish pieces so picky eaters can easily pick them out)
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
Pepper to taste
1 bag frozen perogies (approx. 1 kg)
1 can diced tomatoes (approx. 28oz), undrained
1/3 cup cream cheese (yes, you can absolutely use low-fat)
1 cup, shredded cheddar cheese (my kids love the Kraft Mozza-Cheddar combination!)
2 cups fresh baby spinach


Cooked and crumbled bacon
More shredded cheese
  Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat then add onions, garlic and pepper and saute until soft (about 3 minutes).
  Add perogies to pan and saute until soft and brown on both sides (approx. 8-10 minutes).
  Add diced tomatoes, cream cheese and stir until combined.
  Allow to simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes.
  Remove from heat, add spinach and cheese and stir until cheese is melted and spinach is wilted.
  Serve with more shredded cheese and cooked crumbled bacon on top if desired.
Make Ahead: Sometimes I like to cook dinner the night before so that all I have to do is re-heat the next night. With this recipe, I'll just make as above, pour into a casserole dish and refrigerate. The next evening, I'll reheat in a 350F oven for approx. 15-20 minutes (uncovered for the last 5 minutes).
PS: For more great Ch-Easy recipes visit Kraft Cheesefest!


Melted. Grated. Shaved. Baked. No matter what you do with cheese, it makes everything taste better.

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Slow Cooker Vodka Cream Sauce

This Busy Mom's Version Of A Restaurant Favourite

Slow Cooker Vodka Cream Sauce

Slow Cooker Vodka Cream Sauce

The first time I had pasta in Vodka Cream Sauce, I was in University and a few friends and I had gone out for dinner to celebrate a special occasion. We opted for a fancy-ish Italian restaurant (at least it felt fancy to me back waaaay back then) and there on the menu was Penne in Vodka Cream Sauce. I was always a fan of creamy pasta sauces (there was this one time, in grade school, when we went on a family vacation to Montreal and I ate nothing but Fettuccine Alfredo and Mussels with "frites" for a whole week's worth of lunches and dinners).

So when I recently found myself considering making pasta sauce for dinner and came across some cream cheese and an almost empty bottle of vodka I decided to try to recreate the busy mom's version of a creamy pasta sauce I love!

Simply, toss everything into a slow cooker.
Stir until combined.
Add some more cheese.
2 cans diced tomatoes (approx. 28oz. each).
1 package of cream cheese (yes you can use light), cubed
1/2 cup vodka
1 bay leaf
1/2 onion sliced
1-2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  Place all ingredients, except for the Parmesan Cheese, into a slow cooker sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and stir until combined.
  Cook on low for 4-6 hours (I have a slow cooker that automatically switches to "warm" when the cooking time is over so I cook on low for 4 hours then let it sit on warm for another 2-4 hours when I am working).
  Stir to ensure everything is combined and cream cheese is melted, then using a submersion blender, carefully blend sauce until smooth. Be careful because the sauce will be HOT.
  Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
  Serve over cooked pasta or cooked spaghetti squash.
PS: Want to check out some of my family's other favourite pastas? Try this Super Easy Baked Pasta (that gets the thumbs up from our resident dietician Sarah Remmer), my husband's favourite Sausage and Red Wine Rigatoni, my Easiest Lasagna You'll Ever Make and my Bacon Whiskey Mac and Cheese.

Minecraft Pork Chop Dinner

Score The Highest Dinner Points With Your Minecraft-Lover

Minecraft Pork Chop Dinner

Minecraft Pork Chop Recipe

When my son started asking for pork chops for dinner, I had absolutely no idea where he had even gotten the idea. I don't think I have ever actually made a pork chop and, in fact, I don't even remember eating them growing up. It turns out that he came up with the idea all on his own while playing, what elseMinecraft. Who knew that a video gamewhere a cooked pork chop is a dietary staplewould help me in my meal planning?

My six-year-old son was convinced he wanted a Minecraft dinner, so I googled Minecraft Food and came up with Minecraft Wiki (who knew that even existed!) where there was a helpful menu of food available in the game and the points associated with it.
I learned that:
Pork Chop = 8 points
Baked Potato = 6 points
Carrots = 4 points
I put my dinner strategy into place and now you can make the perfect Minecraft Pork Chop Dinner, too!
First, my friend Leslie taught me this tinfoil trickwhen you're baking breaded meat, crumple up your tinfoil then spread it out onto the baking sheet.
This way, both sides of the meat get crispy without turning over!
I know, she's a genius . . . now on to the pork chop.
Simply mix your breading.
Dip your pork chops in egg.
Cover them in breading.
Bake, then serve with potatoes and carrots, and VOILA!
3/4 cup bread crumbs (I use whole wheat)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (depending on how much your kids like it)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 boneless centre loin pork chops (approx. 4 oz and 1/2-inch thick each)
  Cover baking sheet using crumpled tin foil method above.
  In bowl or pie plate mix bread crumbs, cheese, seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  In separate bowl, beat egg.
  Cover each pork chop in egg, then cover in breading on both sides. Repeat with remaining pork chops.
  Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake in pre-heated 425F oven for 15 minutes.
BONUS: Cake is the highest scoring food item in Minecraft, so if you really want to score the highest dinner points, end your meal with one of my kids' favourite cakes—Oreo Brownie Cake, Cake Batter Cookies, or Gingerbread Cake.
BONUS #2: If you're throwing a Minecraft party, check out these super-cute Minecraft TNT Boxes we made for Valentine's Day that could easily be used as party decorations, as part of a Minecraft party game or even in place of a loot bag!
PS: Is your child is a Minecraft-aholic and in need of a Creeper Intervention? You're not alone.